Abortion Procedures

Abortion Procedures

Abortion Procedures: A Comparison

Non Surgical
Surgical
Manual Vacuum Aspiration
Suction Curettage (no scraping of the uterus)
Surgical D&C Abortion Procedures (1st trimester)
Surgical D&E Abortion Procedures (2nd trimester)
    Completed in a private examination room
    Immediate Recovery
Completed in an Operating Room
Recovery is necessary
    Natural, gentle suction
Electric suction
    No scraping of the uterus
Uterine scraping
    Minimal discomfort
Sedation recommended
    Eat and drink normally before your procedure
No eating or drinking from midnight before your procedure

 

Abortion Procedures for Early Pregnancy

Early Abortion Procedures are best completed in the first ten weeks of pregnancy. Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) can sometimes be used up to 12 weeks at the doctor’s discretion. The safest and most gentle early abortion procedure is MVA. MVA is also the most private abortion procedure because it can be completed in a regular doctor’s office. Surgical procedures are the most common abortion method.

In addition to MVA and Surgical Abortion, the Abortion Pill can also be used to end early pregnancy.

What is Manual Vacuum Aspiration?

Manual Vacuum Aspiration is a quick, non-surgical procedure that can be completed in a regular medical examination room. MVA uses gentle suction to naturally release the pregnancy tissue into a handheld device.

 How does Manual Vacuum Aspiration work?

  • The doctor carefully inserts a speculum (like a pap smear)
  • The doctor inserts a thin sterile cannula (straw) through the natural opening of the cervix.
  • The doctor attaches the straw to the IPAS handheld device (see photo) and applies gentle suction.
  • The pregnancy tissue is gently removed into the IPAS device.

Abortion Procedures: Which is the safest?

All early abortion procedures are extremely safe. The safest abortion procedure is Manual Vacuum Aspiration. It is the safest because it does not utilize scraping, electric suction, or general anesthesia, so there are no major complications. The Aspiration Procedure and the Abortion Pill are endorsed by the World Health Organization as the safest abortion methods.

Surgical Abortion Procedures: Are they safe?

Surgical abortion, or D&C, is the most common abortion procedure and is one of the safest medical procedures available. The safest way to complete a surgical abortion is with no uterine scraping, and no general anesthesia. Uterine scraping is unnecessary under 12 weeks of pregnancy. A surgical abortion without scraping is often called a “suction curettage” procedure. The safest anesthetics are either local anesthesia or “twilight” anesthesia. General anesthesia is unnecessary and not worth the risks involved.  If you are calling a clinic and scheduling a surgical abortion you can ask if they scrape the uterus.

How is Manual Vacuum Aspiration different from Surgical Abortion Procedures?
In a typical surgical abortion, the doctor scrapes the lining of the uterus with a sharp instrument and uses electric suction. This experience can be painful and frightening, so most women are advised to undergo general anesthesia. Recovery after general anesthesia can take hours and many women report not feeling back to normal for days. A MVA is performed using plastic instruments and a quiet, handheld device that delivers gentle pressure. Discomfort is usually considered minimal, so general sedation is unnecessary. Women recover within minutes after a MVA Procedure and feel well enough to resume normal activities immediately.

Where can I find a private doctor who provides early abortion procedures?
Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to find a doctor who will offer Manual Vacuum Aspiration. Check out our resource page to find a provider near you.

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